Texas False Dandelion
Pyrrhopappus multicaulis; Sunflower Family (Compositae), Chicory Tribe (Cichorieae)

In some references (e.g., "Texas Wildflowers"; Loughmiller 1996, page 72) this flower is identified as Pyrrhopappus carolinianus. It differs from the common Dandelion in a number of features, including the leaves (strictly basal with the common dandelion, while P. multicaulis has basal and stem leaves).

This specimen was found in Fern Bluff Park, on the soccer field, on April 7, 2001.

The genus, Pyrrhopappus, is derived from two Greek words, Pyrrhos ("red") and pappos (lit. "down"). The pappus of the dandelion consists of a crown of scales or bristles on the achene, or the fruiting body. In the photo above, the pappus divides into a number of narrow segments. Note the reddish stripe on the lowermost petals. These are actually sepals, and thus extensions of the pappus.

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